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Who is Conrad Hirst?

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  567 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Who is Conrad Hirst? Knowing the answer could get you killed. Not knowing could get him killed.

Conrad Hirst is a hired killer working for a German crime boss. Disturbed by the death of his girlfriend ten years earlier and still bearing the scars of post-traumatic stress after serving as a mercenary, he's valued precisely because of how broken he is, by how coldly he

Paperback, 240 pages
Published November 13th 2007 by Simon & Schuster (first published 2007)
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Nov 29, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Selbstfindung mit der Wumme

Absolut hirnloses und spannungsfreies Gemetzel, das in den Keller der Ein-Stern-Zone gehört.

Dabei ist die Grundidee gar nicht mal so schlecht: Auftragskiller meint seine Laufbahn mit vier strategischen Morden beenden zu können. Tatsächlich setzt Conrad Hirst mit seinem ersten Mord eine fatale Kettenreaktion in Gang, denn die Nummer zwei auf seiner Liste ist nicht identisch mit der Person, der er zu Beginn seiner Killerlaufbahn vorgestellt wurde.
Und da er eigentlich
Jun 23, 2018 added it
I think I'm in that awkward reading stage of trying to find a book similiar to and as satisfying as one I recently finished. I slog, retreat, slog some more, and give up, when maybe at another time the same book would hit me in a sweeter spot.
May 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2007-reads
RATING: 4.25

How does a hit man give up his career and go on to live the life of a normal man? That's the dilemma that faces Conrad Hirst, who is burned out and only too aware of how barren he has become emotionally. He's only 32 years old, but his most recent hit shatters him and destroys his willingness to continue his nihilistic life. He arrives at a simple answer—he must kill the only four people who know his identity. After that, he should be able to put away his assassination tools and
Oct 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
I loved it! There were very few things about this book that were predictable. I thought I had it all figured out then there was the epilogue, which immediately makes sense of the entire book! Great read! I loved all the twists and turns particularly the last one!
Excellent story of a man who shuts himself down after after traumatic experience in the war zone. That event pushed him over the edge and he becomes detached and cold-blooded assassin working for the German crime syndicate.

Then one day he decides to return to his true selfand in doing that triggers unexpected series of events.

Great thriller with [as it is usually case with Wignall's work] twist at the end that explains a lot of main character's story and what is going on in his mind.

Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'v read a few of Kevin Wignall's books and really enjoyed them. I don't know how I missed this one but thanks to the recommendations and reviews on here I eventually picked it up. The main character is a contract killer who has decided to retire from the job. He has a plan and it doesn't go the way he wants. So far so normal for this type of plot... but read on! We get the reason for the decision via letters Conrad is writing, it also reveals his backstory as fights to be able to leave his old ...more
David C Ward
Not as good as the others by Wignall: a very damaged hit man wants to get out and does a lot more damage in doing so. The psychological aspects to his damage are very muddled. The premise that he’d been duped into working for fhe CIA is interesting but not really worked through. And he’s amazingly oblivious - even dumb. Plus he just kills too many people. Less than three stars.
Jack Heath
Oct 18, 2019 marked it as to-read
Synopsis: Hirst is a killer working for a German crime boss. But something happened on his recent job. Now he wants to leave the business.
Sep 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent, excellent. What a craftsman
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very good. Interesting.
May 13, 2018 rated it liked it
I would actually give it 3 1/2 stars. It was fast paced and interesting. Hitman wanting to get out of the business but doesn’t know who he works for . Twist at the end ties things up nicely
Sep 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010
Ein Auftragskiller will aussteigen, doch so einfach geht das in dem Gewerbe nicht. Vor allem, wenn man nicht nur für den gearbeitet hat, der einen beauftragt hat, und man gar nicht weiß, für wen man wirklich gearbeitet hat. So ergeht es Conrad Hirst. Seine seit zehn Jahren aufgebaute eiskalte und berechnende Identität bricht in sich zusammen wie ein Kartenhaus, so dass er selbst gar nicht weiß, was er glauben soll und nicht. Ein Katz-und-Maus-Spiel beginnt.

Kevin Wignall ist ein intelligenter und
Paul Pessolano
Feb 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a very unusual book. It could easily be defined as a spy thriller, but it is so much more. If you are looking for something that might be totally different from anything you have read before, this book is looking right at you.

Conrad Hirst finds himself fighting as a mercenary in Yugoslavia. He falls in love with a young girl, but loses her in a bombing. He is so distressed that he becomes immune to his past life and really doesn't care for his future. He is introduced to, what he
Mar 19, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: actionthriller
Less an action thriller and more of a character study of a hitman who wants to leave the business, which is a great idea. But the execution leaves something a little lacking. Granted, the hitman admits several times that he's a total n00b in terms of pumping people for info and sneaking around; he's only good at killing people. But I find it terribly difficult to believe that the CIA will let a rogue agent go so easily after he's gone and killed several CIA agents, even if it was because of a ...more
Jan 03, 2009 rated it did not like it
I originally picked up Who Is Conrad Hirst? for my younger brother after my mom asked me find him something to read at the library, but he read the back and handed it right back to me. The cover looked interesting enough, so I threw it onto my bookstack.

Who Is Conrad Hirst? is a character study of an assassin trying to quit the business, except this assassin works for the CIA. The writing is very tight and there are very little mistakes, but just I wasn’t engaged in the story at all. And as the
Jordan McPeek
Nov 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime, box-7
An odd genre book - which genre it belongs to is arguable: spy or crime? Odd isn't bad. It makes for an unpredictable read that keeps the pages turning. A hitman who wants to leave the business is a familiar storyline. What sets him apart is his motivation for getting into and out of the business. It's not money or blackmail or training or loyalty; it's a psychological crisis. An interesting character study thrown in with enough plot, action, and twists to call it a thriller. An enjoyable ...more
Nov 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
This is the first spy or crime (not really sure what designation it fall under) novel so I wasn't sure what to expect or even whether I would like it.
The writing is godd but not amazing. The story is, for me, memorable in that it broke away from the expected and the character was very well developed. Instead of a fun but mindless book I got a fun and interesting mystery and character portait.
Mar 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: hitman, germany
Picked this one up off a favorable review in my favorite bastion of Britishness, The Economist, and I think it earns the praise. Most hitman books are breakneck thrillers, so the more meditative pacing in this one is refreshing. Also worth noting is the clever way Wignall plays on the "man without a past" stereotype that permeates the genre by taking Conrad's story in unexpected directions. Not a long one, so worth a shot even if you don't normally go for this sort of thing.
Jul 21, 2008 rated it liked it
In the good but not great category. It's a thriller that is very fast- 230 pages which I read in less than four hours. It does a lot in this span, but I just didn't love the main character enough (some of the killings were unconscionable and I don't think the protagonist got off too lightly on them). That said, it was a great airplane/beach read and the two twists at the end certainly caught me by surprise.
Oct 12, 2007 rated it really liked it
Wignall continues his hit man theme and again manages to pull it off with tight writing, an interesting lead character, and an undercurrent of difficult moral questions.

In the process of describing how a person might fall into the position of killing for a living Wignall mediates on the nature of identity, fate, and violence.
Feb 01, 2008 rated it liked it
This book is a standard book about a drop out assassin, until the last chapter.
That last chapter changes the book, forever really. So read the book through once, then realize you'll have to read it through again. I read it through twice in the same day, cause i was a little shocked by what I had read at the end.
Good book, but needs some different pieces working forward into the story.
Oct 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
you will be thrilled, frightened, scared, angered, relieved, and finally completely and totally gut-wrenchingly heart broken. even if you see the end coming you're hoping it won't and when it does...bamf. sucker-punch.

a great book.
Kathryn Ottele
Feb 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Who is Conrad Hurst?

This was very good. I liked the insightful views of this character, trying to make sense of the chosen path he took in life. This was a very good, thought provoking book.
Kathryn Ross
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love his stories

I'm not a big fan of short stories but I really really enjoy his stories and
Novels. Ive read them all.
Feb 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Great book. Lots of plot twists that I never saw coming.
Jan 27, 2016 added it
May 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
In my opinion the best of Wignall's novels.
fred maudsley
rated it really liked it
Mar 08, 2016
Michael Gale
rated it really liked it
Apr 24, 2019
Clive Tern
rated it really liked it
Oct 24, 2018
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Army Child till age nine.

Settled back in a small town in the west of England.

Lancaster University - degree in Politics &
International Relations.


Also writes as K.J. Wignall